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She believed she could, so she did. – R.S. Grey
For more context on our trip to Atlanta, feel free to read I Did It! Traveling Alone with a 1-Year Old (Part I). There I chronicle how Charlie and I braved traveling alone together and how it wan’t so scary after all.
My parents moved to the Atlanta area several years ago by way of Kansas City, KS. They love Atlanta and have found it homey and generally very friendly. My parents moving to Atlanta was the main reason for my first ever trip there, so I found that I had a lot of places and things that I wanted to see.
There is so much to do in this fun city of the South. Atlanta has night life, great eating and lots of history. A big player in the American Civil War and the Civil Rights Movements, Atlanta continues to push forward as a progressive city. For a first time visit to the city, I highly recommend getting the Atlanta CityPASS. For $75 ($59/child age 3-12) CityPASS includes access to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coco-Cola, CNN Studio Tours and Zoo Atlanta OR Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History OR College of Football Hall of Fame. That’s a savings of about 40% ($50) on admission to the top 5 Atlanta area Attractions!
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Three Days in Atlanta (with a Toddler)
- Get up early and grab breakfast at the Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery. Their cinnamon rolls are to die for! It is about an hour away from downtown Atlanta, but trust me, it’s worth it.
- Visit the Georgia Aquarium. Plan on spending 2-3 good hours walking around and don’t forget to check out a couple of shows. We really liked the seal show. The aquarium focuses on conservation and the environment to help save endangered species. Also, it’s the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. Don’t forget to bring your CityPASS!
- Grab a bite to eat near the aquarium. There are lots of options from quick to sit-down and all within walking distance.
- If you’re staying in downtown, this may be a good time to go back to your hotel or vacation rental and rest and let your little one(s) nap.
- For post-nap fun, head back toward the Georgia Aquarium. Across the street is Centennial Olympic Park. It was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games for infrastructure improvements for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The park boasts over 20 acres of open space, with fountains, SkyView Atlanta (ferris wheel) and during the summer months you may be able to catch some of the summer concert series. There is also a great playground for the little ones.
- Finish the day with a nice dinner. Again, there are so many option near the aquarium and Centennial Park.
- Start today off with a simple breakfast either at or near your hotel. If you opted for the vacation rental, make breakfast (keep it simple).
- Take your time getting ready to seize the day, but once your’e ready head over to the World of Coco-Cola. Remember your CityPASS and enjoy looking at the memorabilia and round out the visit tasting all the different sodas of the world. Some yummy and some I’m not sure I understand. The self-guided tour only takes about one and a half hours max to go through.
- From Coco-Cola, you can either walk over to the Center for Civil and Human Rights or the College of Football Hall of Fame. I have never personally been to the Center for Civil and Human Rights, but the College of Football Hall of Fame is fantastic! All ages will love this place. You can sign in with your Alma mater and throughout the museum the computers are set up to pull stats on your school. You can also participate in a punt, pass and kick exercise. The museum would take about 1-2 hours to go through, so all-in-all, you’re looking at about four hours of activities between the two exhibits.
- At this point, grab a bite to eat and determine if you need to work in a nap for the little one(s).
- Since your morning was so active, head over to Stone Mountain Park and enjoy walking around and enjoying the open space.
- Head toward the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and stop by Sun in my Belly for brunch.
- After you’ve wrapped up brunch, make your way over to the Fernbank Museum. Your kiddos will love this place. As you walk into the center of the Museum you’ll see some pretty impressive dino skeletons. The museum also has a fantastic playground and some beautiful walking trails out back. You really can’t go wrong with this place. Furthermore, the museum offers encounters with some of the museum critters! You could easily spend a solid 3 hours here if you plan on play time outside.
- Once you wrap up at the museum you can drive about 30 minutes to Zoo Atlanta. The zoo is one of the few with Giant Pandas, of course among elephants, bears, snakes, etc. Something for everyone, really.
- Depending on the age of your kiddos, you may want to consider a nap before or after the zoo.
- Finish your day with a great bite to eat and reflect on the memories you’ve just made before heading to the airport.
There is just so much to do in Atlanta and with little ones, like the children’s museum, it’s hard to see everything. You’re thinking about nap times and the ungodly traffic and how to manage it all. Don’t worry! Do what you can and if you can’t make it to everything, that’s totally fine. This just gives you a reason to come back! I feel so lucky because I have my parent’s to stay with. They live a bit further outside of the city, so we have to budget about 45 minutes to an hour to do anything in the city. Because of the distance, though, I can give Charlie his nap when en route to our destination. It’s not always ideal, but so far I haven’t broken him. Ha! Also, make sure you have your essentials. With a lot of walking, little ones may need to ride along in a stroller. Also, pack the diaper bag and make sure you have a great time!